After a big trade shifted the landscape of the NBA world last week, the Atlanta Hawks have made a much smaller move to open up this week. On Monday, the team announced that they have waived center Deyonta Davis.
Davis featured in nine games in the last few weeks of the regular season for the Hawks after spending his first two years with the Memphis Grizzlies. Originally a draft pick of the Boston Celtics, he was traded to Memphis on draft night along with Rade Zagorac for a first-round pick that was originally acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers and will be used this year as the No. 20 overall selection.
Davis was less than impressive during his time in Atlanta, showing little of what made him a prospect in the 2016 draft. His recognition never quite caught up with his athletic talent, which makes him a difficult player to use defensively, and his offensive game is entirely limited to right at the basket.
The timing of this move is curious, as the Hawks had until July 31 to make a decision on guaranteeing just $250,000 of Davis’s $1.65 million contract for next season. During the offseason, teams can carry up to 20 players on their roster, so the need for a roster spot wasn’t the impetus for this move. The likely reasoning is that the Hawks knew he wasn’t the sort of player for whom they were looking on their roster and wanted to give him the best chance to latch on with another team in free agency, particularly ahead of Summer League next month.